I’ve always loved the Farfisa organ. I listened to this one time and said, “Where’s the banquet?”. I grew up pretty much on the streets of Brooklyn. I asked if we could do a show there, and they agreed, which blew me away because no one else was giving us a show.
It’s reprinted in full as a tribute to the fallen Suicide frontman, who passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday night. It sold like six million records. And then, “Cry, cry, cry.” I think I’d heard it on the radio and thought, “Wow, this is cool,” but I never expected them to be what they were. I think it’s impossible. It used to be on between 3 and 4. Look at the world.
A lot of records, more than one. In this day and age, it would be considered inflammatory or politically incorrect, and it would have been misinterpreted. When I was touring with Cat Power we played a show with you at ATP in England. I mean it’s different than saying ‘I like Joy Division,’ because everybody likes Joy Division or everybody likes The Cure or whatever, but if you say Suicide—it’s like you have a bond. I’ll re-listen to stuff.
The following Alan Vega interview is taken from 2008. I always feel like I’m about to do something better. When I was a kid, I used to come home and turn on Dick Clark’s show. You’re an artist, a sculptor and I read somewhere that being a performer was actually at the bottom of the list of things you wanted to do.
We were out there for two and a half hours, and nothing was thrown at us. It’s great. You mean “collection of MP3s.” But that was an occasional thing. But I couldn’t imagine having it any other way, it’s strange. “Ghost Rider” got on The Crow soundtrack. The first time we used that word was in 1971. I didn’t discover that until recently.
Some lunatic is going to come around and shoot me. Over a crunchy drum loop and high-pitched organ drone, Vega yodels “hallelujah”, “meditation” and “war is over”, almost in a moment of catharsis. Yeah, it’s like a diary. Right. We billed it as a “punk music mass.” Up until then, that word had never been used except in an article in ’69 by Lester Bangs. Vega and Rev were much older than their CBGB contemporaries; Vega was 39 when the band’s debut album came out.
But yeah, “American Dreamer” was a great song. Yeah, they were great. Suicide consists of Alan Vega and Martin Rev who have been playing together and in solo projects since 1970. That’s fuckin’ centuries ago. He’s a great guy. From my perspective, music in the last twenty years has lost that element of unpredictability or danger that you guys exuded. The police had to come. That sound!
Ha, that’s great. We actually got to be liked over there. We used to do our own recordings, prior to making records: We used to record on a one-track tape recorder, use two sides of an amp–those Fender amps–one side for the vocals and one side for the keyboard. I’m pretty good at doing things the first time. They called us glitter. I would have wanted that record to come out right after the first Suicide. Riots were incited.
You know about the last album that just came out [2007’s Station, a Vega solo disc].
I like what they’re doing intellectually, but to listen to it over and over again, can’t he graduate to something else? Of course, we couldn’t get anywhere else to play. Apparently at the time we were the only ones around who did something like that or had a band name like that and so people seemed to think we focused on death, and it’s funny because that just never occurred to me.
I feel like you’ve ended up inspiring so many bands—maybe in ways you don’t realize and maybe they don’t even realize. I always loved that song. Knowing what I know now, I would have manufactured the vinyl myself and scratched the record to get the sound out. I had to listen to a lot of the stuff over again, and that was kind of difficult. The collection documents the tour following the release of Suicide’s classic self-titled debut. Yeah, that true. What music do you listen to today? It’s always a two-man thing. On Dick Clark!
It’s reprinted in full as a tribute to the fallen Suicide frontman, who passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday night.
Gregg Foreman is a Musician and DJ who has played for the likes of: Cat Power, Pink Mountaintops, The Delta 72, The Black Ryder, The Meek, and more. But yeah, that’s how we did it back then, just one take and we got lucky. Where I grew up in Brooklyn, man, a punk was like a wuss, the guy who ran away from the fight. I go through phases.
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